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The Buyer Interview

Written by on Sunday, 14 November 1999 6:00 pm

The buyer interview is the first step in the buyer process. It should happen before you run to the computer to find them the right home. If you don't do this first you may be competing with two or three other agents for the same buyer. Why compete when you don't have to? Let the other agents in the marketplace compete and waste their time with disloyal buyers. "Top Gun" agents only invest their time with people who are loyal and who will buy through them.

The buyer interview is separated into three sections. The first section is determining their values and needs. You want to find out what their needs are in a home such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms and the layout of the home. To be able to best fulfill their needs, you will want to obtain all the information about the property they want to own.

Then you will need to find out the values they are attaching to this new home, the "why?" behind the move, the emotions that they are using to make the buying decision. We all buy things because it appeals to our emotions. We then rationalize our emotions through logic. To create long-term satisfied clients, a great salesperson makes sure the buyers' emotions are met.

You then must understand the benefits they are looking for you to provide. There are some specific beliefs these people have about realtors. They want you to provide a certain type of service level. You need to know their expectations of service.

If I were in a buyer interview with someone who wanted me to be available at all times including nights and weekends, we would have a problem. I needed to know if my service model of having my staff and me available only at certain times was acceptable. I also need to know why the buyer felt I needed to be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for him. If I could not persuade him we would be able to provide him with the highest quality of assistance, I would disengage the appointment and refer him to another agent in the office who was willing to provide the service he felt he needed.

In the second section of the buyer interview we would present the benefits of service. At this point we shared with them services that we provided to the buyer. We had these services on a written form for the buyer. We could then show him the services and benefits he would receive from working with us. People make decision in the selling process based on emotion and the benefits they receive. If you don't show them their specific benefits, they will not buy. Examples of services and benefits:

We merge your profile with the MLS. The benefit to you is that you will be one of the first people to see a new home on the market. Since the best values sell within days, we feel that it is crucial for you to see the homes first.

The last service we listed was the seller actually pays our fee. The buyer would receive all these services and benefits free of charge. We would only ask for one thing from him to receive all of these services, which was his commitment to work with us exclusively.

Next comes section three of the buyer interview. This section I call the client commitment. You don't have a client until he has committed to you. Up until then he is only a prospect. This section of the buyer interview separates the "Top Gun" agent from the rest. You must lay it on the line. He needs to understand that this is your job and how you provide for your family. You owe it to your spouse and children to work only with people who are 100% committed to working with you.

Since you are providing all these services for no cost to anyone till closing, you have to insure that a closing will happen. Draw him in by putting his job in that position. He wouldn't work for a month hoping his paycheck wouldn't bounce at the end of the month. He would find another job.

You can only provide a high level of service to selected clients at a time. You cannot help them all. Make sure they want to be helped by you. If they cannot give you a commitment, thank them and refer them to someone else. Invest your time finding another person who will commit. It's all about commitment; either you are or you aren't. "Top Gun" agents ask for the commitment, and if they don't get it they will move onto the next.

Also See:

  • Qualifying The Buyer
  • Ask Your Buyer the Right Questions
  • Seven Secrets of Prospecting
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      About the author, Dirk Zeller

    Individual news stories are based upon the opinions of the writer and does not reflect the opinion of Realty Times.